English Opening Powerbook 2021

It is not difficult to find good arguments for the English Opening. If Black replies 1...e5, then you have the Sicilian with reversed colours, but with an extra tempo for White. The symmetrical move 1...c5 concedes the tempo of first move to White and with it the initiative. All the great players in the history of chess had the English Opening in their repertoire. For the new edition of the English Powerbook an Elo average of at least 2400 was specified. This threshold was achieved by 105 000 games from Mega 2021 and from correspondence chess, to which have been added 978 000 games from the engine room of playchess.com.

The threshold of an average of 2400 for both players guarantees the high quality of the statistics. But what makes the Powerbook so valuable is: with a little searching you can find nice secret variations. For example 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 and here there is an absolutely incredible development of the variation with 4.e4, which is now far and away the most often played move in the engine room of playchess.com. 4...Bb4 5.d3 d6 are the typical follow-up moves.

Now it is possible to spot a trend amongst humans to 6.a3, but in the online database there are only 300 games. In our Powerbook, however, 6.a3 is the top move with statistics based on more than 300 000 games.


English Opening

In 1843 in a match, which was unofficially considered a world championship, the English master Howard Staunton (1810–1874) played 1.c4 against French player Pierre Saint-Amant (1800–1872). Since then this move has been known as the English Opening. But it was not accorded full recognition until the 1920s, and later it was then successfully adopted by modern world champions such as Botvinnik, Petrosian, Karpov and Kasparov.

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